Joey Barton offers Paul Gascoigne warning
Joey Barton has warned that Paul Gascoigne can only win his battle with the bottle if he helps himself.
The Queen's Park Rangers midfielder, on a season's loan with Marseilles, overcame his own demons with alcoholism after working with Peter Kay from charity The Sporting Chance. Gascoigne is recovering in a Phoenix hospital after a number of former team-mates, including Gary Lineker, paid for him to be admitted last week in a bid to combat his addiction.
Barton wrote on his personal blog yesterday that the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) has been paying Gascoigne's rent "for several years and without fanfare". However, Barton believes it is now down to the former Newcastle and Tottenham midfielder to ensure there is no relapse and warned that "handouts" are not a long-term solution.
"Tough love is a better approach; let Paul start to take actions himself with the hands of support around him," Barton wrote.
"Let's not rely on special funds because he was a special player it sets a dangerous, unsustainable precedent. Offer Paul a choice. If he agrees full support, full support should be offered. If not, stop paying his rent and funding his lifestyle. I have been told that Paul only accepted to go to treatment this time if the country he would rehab in was of a good climate, so as he could get a 'good tan'. I was staggered when I was told this."
Barton served 77 days of a six-month jail term in 2008 after an assault in his home-town of Liverpool. He claims to have been tee-total since but admitted that it remains a daily struggle.
"I thought that if I didn't drink then things would be ok, and admittedly that is the start. But if you take away the drug which at a level helped, it has to be replaced with an alternative. Otherwise, like me, you'll walk around like a bomb waiting to fuse… Unmedicated with alcohol, the volcano starts to erupt, gently at first and then it becomes an enduring flow of unstoppable lava."
Latest in Sport
Monaco is a street circuit where driver ability is more important than anywhere else and if we take ...
by Gareth Purnell
24 May 2013 02:00 AM
Three weeks ago as I drove off the Eurostar, I remember thinking what a very long time it was until ...
by Martin Ayres
23 May 2013 05:29 PM
McDowell did brilliantly to land the World Match Play title in Bulgaria last week, but it’s a format...
by Gareth Purnell
23 May 2013 09:13 AM
David Moyes delighted after Rio Ferdinand agrees to stay at Manchester United with new one-year contract
Sergio Garcia / Tiger Woods 'fried chicken' racism row takes fresh twist after 'coloured athletes' comment
After racist remark, Sergio Garcia fights for reputation as Tiger Woods slams 'hurtful' fried chicken joke
New Manchester City manager must deliver five trophies in five years
Manchester United slash interest bill by £10m a year
- 1 Pope Francis: Being an atheist is alright as long as you do good
- 2 Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
- 3 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 4 Archaeologists uncover nearly 5,000 cave paintings in Burgos, Mexico
- 5 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.